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H-1b Visas at Baylor University

Nov. 16, 2012

The Office of General Counsel assists the University complete necessary process for its employees to obtain H-1b petitions for eligible positions at Baylor University. An H-1b is a nonimmigrant visa status for a foreign national who will perform services in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is one that requires a specialized body of knowledge and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree or its equivalent as a minimum for entry into the occupation. An Baylor employee working under an H-1b is strictly limited to employment by Baylor.

An H-1b petition is only part of the overall process of legally obtaining entrance to or maintaining presence in, the United States. The process has been created by federal law and is implemented by lengthy regulations issued by multiple US agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the United States Citizen & Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS). Immigration law has some complicated social policies underpinning the rules. In the context of employment, the key concern is that American jobs should generally be preserved for American workers. Consequently, Baylor is not permitted to hire foreign national workers simply because Baylor wishes to do so - Baylor must be able to satisfy numerous legal requirements which would permit employment under the circumstances of the specific situation.

It is very important that departments check with the Office of General Counsel before changing the job description, job title or pay structure (other than annual pay raises) of any employee in the U.S. under an H-1b. Changes to the employment agreement may impact the visa status of the employee.

The Baylor Office of General Counsel is prepared to assist the University in this process. Please contact us with any questions you might have.